lunch-pail-and-thermosLong-time readers will know that I am a serial entrepreneur and I love small businesses.  I also love the way America used to be before Wall Street became a game of building bubbles from which to plunder other’s savings and manufacturing became a game of outsourcing.  I still believe we can get back to those days, and that there is a lot going on that makes it easier for the little guy today than it was back in the good old days.  Take marketing, for example.  Today a small business can reach an amazing number of potential customers via the Internet.  CNCCookbook has a readership of over 1 million visitors a year.

Because of all that, I try to pass along any inspirational material I can find for other small business owners or for folks who want to start their own businesses.  Towards that end, I want to pass along a blog post called “The Lunch Pail Manifesto” and a book called “Turning Pro“.  Both are essentially about the idea that being a Pro is more about a state of mind than about exactly what you know.  It’s about how you approach your work.  Both are worth a deeper look, but for a start, I give you The Lunch Pail Manifesto:

The Lunch Pail Manifesto

  1. We must find the work that brings our lives meaning.
  2. We must strive to make our work purposeful, truthful, and authentic, a pure offering to our Muse and fellow human beings.
  3. We must wage a lifelong war with Resistance and accept that instant gratification is an oxymoron.
  4. We must not speak of our work with false modesty or braggadocio.
  5. We must not debase our work for short term gain nor elevate it above its rightful station to inflate our ego.
  6. We must not covet the fruits of our work, or the fruits of others’ work.
  7. We must respect others’ work and offer aid to fellow professional laborers.
  8. We must accept that our work will never be perfect.
  9. We must accept that our work will never be without merit.
  10. We must accept that our work will never cease.

The Lunch Pail Manifesto is patterned after what it took to be a Steel Worker back in the day, and the story of that is worth the read in the blog.  I can’t think of a better manifesto for someone who wants to start a business, and these 10 points certainly reflect many of the values behind CNCCookbook.  Being a real Pro is hard work, it’s good work, and it’s work we love to do.  But it is never easy work.  I figure if I can teach my kids to sign up to live their lives according to something like The Lunch Pail Manifesto, I won’t have to worry about them so much.

What do you think?


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